Update on the progress of the NDP’s Strategic Environmental Assessment

As previously reported, Sevenoaks Town Council’s Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) was recommended as requiring a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by one of its Statutory Consultees.

An SEA addresses various themes within an NDP, including but not limited to: Air Quality, Biodiversity and Geodiversity, Community Wellbeing and Climate Change. It evaluates whether the allocations and/or proposals in an emerging NDP effectively address these themes in the relevant context of the area. For instance, due to the town’s rich history, Sevenoaks Town Council’s NDP will need to be evaluated on whether its proposals will protect, conserve and enhance heritage assets within the NDP area.

Following its successful application to Locality for Technical Support to fund the production of this document, STC was allocated an AECOM lead consultant to progress the SEA on its behalf.

The Scoping Report for the SEA, which outlines the questions that AECOM has identified the NDP as needing to address, went out to Statutory Consultees Historic England, Natural England and Environment Agency on 28th September 2021. This consultation period of 5 weeks is due to end on 2nd November 2021, after which AECOM will discuss the responses with Sevenoaks Town Council and Reasonable Alternatives to any concerns raised.

The amended predicted timeline for the progression of the NDP therefore, is as follows. This is subject to review and amendment following Statutory Consultee responses and is primarily intended to give an estimation of the NDP’s progress to interested parties.

Any questions regarding the above information may be forwarded to Georgie Elliston, Planning Committee Clerk at planning@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.

Changes to predicted NDP Timetable following Statutory Consultee’s recommendation that STC obtain a Strategic Environmental Assessment:

Following the receipt of Scoping Opinions from Sevenoaks Town Council’s (STC) Statutory Consultees over whether we should obtain a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA), the previous predictions for the Neighbourhood Development Plan’s (NDP) timescale of progress are now out of date.

Sevenoaks Town Council completed their Technical Support Application to Locality on 6th July 2021 and expect to hear back on whether it will be Granted or not by end of July. If successful, a consultant from AECOM will be appointed and the SEA completed in a predicted 8-12 week time-frame.

Taking this into consideration, the below table displays the predicted timeline of progress that we expect to see, should the Application be successful.

In the event that it is unsuccessful, this timeline will need to be reviewed, however, the Town Council is working to minimise the delay that this could cause by seeking independent quotes for the SEA in tandem with their application.

Any questions regarding this may be sent to the Georgie Elliston, Planning Committee Clerk at planning@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.

Sevenoaks Town Council Neighbourhood Development Plan’s Vision

The main goal of the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan is to set out objectives that will aid the fulfilment of the below vision of what Sevenoaks Town will look like in 2038. It takes into consideration the health and wellbeing of residents living within the Neighbourhood Development Plan area as well as the the nationally declared climate emergency. The Neighbourhood Plan draws upon the town’s existing strengths, reflects the positive qualities identified by the local community and identities a number of challenges and opportunities.

A Vision of Sevenoaks in 2038

‘Sevenoaks will continue to be a successful and friendly market town set on the Greensand Ridge that takes advantage of its good connections and easy access to open countryside and to London. It will continue to have a strong sense of community with an active network of volunteers. The town will be proud of its history and the legacy of fine historic buildings, spanning six centuries, that contribute to an attractive townscape in its leafy streets.

However, Sevenoaks will not be stuck in the past but firmly wedded to the future and the quality of life of its children and their children to come. As one of the UK’s first carbon zero towns, Sevenoaks will be environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Despite its undulating topography, walking and cycling will be the standard mode of travel with a network of safe walking and cycling routes that provide access to the towns excellent schools and to recreational and employment opportunities. New buildings in Sevenoaks will be built to the highest environmental standards and the town will celebrate its connection with the surrounding landscape that the views to the Kent Downs provide.

The town centre will continue to provide a good mix of shops, including many independent traders, and provide a rich cultural offer within an emerging cultural quarter and thriving markets. The centre will be easy to access and provides attractive streets and spaces for locals and visitors alike. Residents will live in a variety of homes set within well-kept neighbourhoods and also benefit from convenient neighbourhood centres at St John’s, Tubs Hill and Hollybush Lane.

Knole Park, Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, Greatness Lake and Recreation Ground will provide a unique and rich natural environment for both active sports and quiet contemplation, and the town is proud of its remarkable trees.

The town will be protective of its landscape assets but also recognises the need to plan for and deliver new homes and community facilities to provide for future generations. Sevenoaks will celebrate its uniqueness, protects its special assets and plan for future prosperity!’

The objectives of Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Development build the potential to:

  • Respond positively to climate change and encourage a more sustainable approach to both land use and lifestyle choices;
  • Enhance and preserve the town’s heritage assets and special open spaces
  • Enhance the arrival experience into the town to create a more welcoming impression;
  • Enhance the town’s network of roads, footpaths and cycling routes to improve connections and create a safer and more attractive environment for users;
  • Improve access to, and better connect, the town’s open spaces;
  • Regenerate and revitalise the Northern Sevenoaks area around Bat and Ball station;
  • Deliver a sustainable expansion at Greatness, on land currently being worked to extract sand by Tarmac Ltd. (subject to release from the Green Belt) in order to deliver new homes to meet local needs;
  • Unlock new opportunities for leisure, recreation and community infrastructure – including a new watersports lake as part of this development;
  • Grow the town’s economy and support the creation of new jobs;
  • Deliver new community assets including a new Community Centre at Bat and Ball and new health and education provision;
  • Deliver enhanced recreational and sports facilities and education provision; and
  • Enhance the town’s thriving cultural scene.

The final draft for the Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Development Plan has been completed and was posted on the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan website on 12th April 2021, available to view via this link.

Once the Neighbourhood Plan draft has been signed off by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, it will be submitted formally to Sevenoaks District Council, with the Basic Conditions Statement and Consultation Statement. They will then organise the six week publication, examination, and referendum.

News and updates on the Neighbourhood Development Plan can be found via the following link: News – Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan (wordpress.com)

If you have any queries, please contact:

Georgie Elliston


10th May 2021

Update on the Neighbourhood Plan Progress

The final draft for the Neighbourhood Plan (NP) has now been completed and can be viewed by the link below.

Changes include:
– Taking into account comments made through the Regulation 14 Consultation
– Changes agreed with the NP Steering Group.
– The plan is now prepared to reference the Core Strategy and ADMP documents.

The next steps are to prepare the Basic Conditions Statement and Consultation Statement. Once the NP draft has been signed off by the NP Steering Group, this will be submitted formally to Sevenoaks District Council, and a SEA Scoping Opinion obtained.

Consultation Results Document available to view

A report detailing all the feedback received during the 2020 Neighbourhood Plan Consultation Period is now available to view.

The feedback will be discussed by the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee on the 12th January 2021, and then again by the Planning Committee on the 25th January 2021.

The document can be found on the 2020 Consultation Response Document page.

Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Development Plan – Revised Programme

The progress of the Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) has been delayed due to awaiting a decision on the Sevenoaks Local Plan, needed to establish which version the NDP would need to comply with.

It has been agreed that the NDP is amended to accord with the existing Core Strategy rather than with emerging policy.

There have also been restrictions on referendums due to the current pandemic. Currently not permitted to take place before 6th May 2021.

At the Sevenoaks Town Council’s Planning Committee held on 30th November 2020 the following timetable for progressing the Sevenoaks Neighbourhood Development Plan:

Tarmac Presentation 13th January 2020

At the start of the Planning Committee Meeting held on the 13th January 2020, Tarmac Ltd gave a presentation on proposals related to the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Development Plan. It also discussed the Sevenoaks District Local Plan, with regards to the Sevenoaks Quarry Site. The presentation was open to the public and allowed for a Q & A session at the end.

If you would like to download a copy of the presentation slides then please click here.

Cultural Strategy Meeting

The draft Cultural Strategy commissioned by Sevenoaks Town Council, is now ready for feedback. The final document will be submitted for public consultation with the Neighbourhood Development Plan as an appendix.

The council have organised a meeting to invite back the previous arts groups consulted as well as the public, in order to discuss the Cultural Strategy before it is submitted for wider consultation. It will be hosted at the Stag Plaza, 7pm Thursday 23rd January 2020.

If you wish to attend the Arts group meeting or have any questions regarding the Cultural Strategy, please get in touch at planning@sevenoakstown.gov.uk.

Sevenoaks Town Council launches ‘Call for Small Sites’ as part of Neighbourhood Plan process.

The Sevenoaks Town call for Small sites is specifically seeking nominations for sites from landowners or local people that:

  • Are capable of delivering less than 5 residential units, this includes
    • Previously undeveloped land
    • Sub division of existing plots
    • Splitting existing accommodation into multiple units e.g. dividing a large detached house into flats
    • the conversion of non residential space
  • Are capable of being delivered within the plan term i.e. 20 years
  • Are within the Parish of Sevenoaks

Nominations are also sought for small parcels of land capable of supporting other uses, such as public outdoor amenity space, employment space, or other uses of benefit to the local community.

The call for small sites emerged from the Sevenoaks Town Neighbourhood Plan Steering Committee, sites capable of delivering development of greater than 5 units are considered by Sevenoaks District Council as the Planning Authority, but no register or evidence base exists for the number of small sites in Sevenoaks which have the potential for development or other public uses.

Anyone wishing to put forward a site for consideration can do so by visiting the plan’s website:


Consultation closes on the 4th May 2016

Hugh D’Alton
Assistant Town Clerk